Ohio Regulators Launch Car Insurance Calculator

Drawing of shopping cart on computer keyThe Ohio Department of Insurance on Monday made available to residents a new feature on its website that can help local consumers get an idea of how much it will cost to obtain a policy. The coverage calculator delivers sample premiums from a number of carriers after the user inputs a few pieces of basic information, but at least one local news outlet is saying that the developers of the tool may have sacrificed accuracy for simplicity.

Insurers use complex formulas for assessing the risk of a driver and for calculating the proper premium based on that perceived risk. The smallest detail could greatly affect the final premium. But, as Adrian Burns pointed out in an article in the Columbus Biz Insider, the sample premium calculator’s “short questionnaire is limited and cannot home in on the fine details of an individual’s profile.”

For instance, the cost of coverage for teenagers is generally the highest of any age group, and premiums tend to drop significantly once a driver has put in at least three safe years behind the wheel. But since the premium calculator’s options are limited to three large age blocks, a 24-year-old will be quoted as if he or she were only 18.

Another area in which little variability has been provided is vehicle type. Different models of cars have different overall claims histories, with certain types of autos being very cheap to acquire coverage for and others being practically uninsurable. (The New York  Department of Insurance, for instance, provides a list — available through its website — of the types of cars that will be especially difficult to insure.) The new premium calculator gives the user no options regarding vehicle type.

As Burns notes in his article, though, the tool still has utility in that it prepares car insurance shoppers for what may be asked of them from agents and will give them a sense of which company may offer the cheapest coverage for an individual’s basic profile.

Consumers in any state who would like to get more personally tailored car insurance quotes without personal information required can go to any of a number of sites online that provide similar premium-comparison services.

About Ben Zitney
Benjamin Zitney has been covering the auto insurance industry for the past 2.5 years. Before coming to Online Auto Insurance News, he produced an extensive company history of the 30-year-old California Joint Powers Insurance Authority and worked at the Cal State Long Beach Daily Forty-Niner as a reporter, copy editor and news editor.

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